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First Kazakh enlightened governor

28 November 2016
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Zhangir khan's main interest was science. The enlightenment was the meaning of his shot life. His advancement on enlightenment exceeded the first scholar Shokan Ualihanov on 34 years, the first Kazakh teacher Ibrai Altynsarin on 40 years and Abay Kunanbayev, who was the great Kazakh philosopher, on 44 years.

During my unexpected visit to Kazan University I learnt about this truism, which surprisingly was not promoted in our country. I work at the museum of  Kazakh science RSE " Ғылымордасы". The director of National library of Tatarstan, at the same day when he found out that I came to visit the library named after N.I. Lobachevsky, suggested to me to visit the museum of history of Kazan University and National museum of Republic of Tatarstan, as my work relates

The Kazan University, which was established in 1804, has 10 museums of archeology, geology, botany, zoology, ethnography, history of education, history of the University, Kazan school of chemistry, antiques and museum-laboratory.

The portrait gallery of the honorable members of Kazan University is exposed in their museum of history.  I saw Zhangir's portrait, the Kazakh khan of Bukeeyev Orda (inner Horde) next to the Russian prominent figures of science and education. His achievements in the field of science and education were appreciated far from Kazakhstan!

Under the impression, I accidently remembered, that Kazakhs and Tatars always had political, economical and cultural ties.  During the sixth to eight centuries Kazakhs and Tatars were included in one Turk Kaganat, the common statehood. In 13th and 14th centuries the land of the Volga and Kazakhstan were part of the Dzhuchi Khan, which is known in history as Golden Horde. Moreover, Kazakhs together with Tatars had been participated in Bashkir revolutions during 17th and 18th centuries.

During the 1730-1750 period Aleksey Tevkelev, the Tatar Mirza hold negotiations with Kazakh leaders of the Small zhuz about exception of Russiancitizenship. Since the end of 18th century to the beginning of 20th century the Tatar mullahs and merchants, considering market infrastructure have made a huge contribution to the education and economic development of the cities of Kazakhstan.

It is know that, from 1803 to 1917 period, Kazan was the center of the school district. Kazan district inspectors also supervised Kazakh schools.  In 19th and 20th centuries, at the University of Kazan and Kazan Veterinary Institute  studied many Kazakh students, who in their term became scientists and statesmen. 

Documents about ethnography and folklore of Kazakh people, that were received from Kazakh khan, being kept at N.I. Ilminsky and N.F. Katanov  professors-turkologists' funds of the University of Kazan.  

Zhangir (1801 -1845) is the last khan of Bukeeyv Horde (1823-1845). He was the son of Bukey khan, grandson of Abulkhair, whose real name was Zhihanger, which means "Conquer of the World". "How to ship call, so it will float", thus the name of a person means a lot and gives responsibility to him.

At that time Bukey Horde occupied the territory in the lower reaches of the Volga and Ural rivers. In his youth he received his primary education at home with private teacher-mullah. Further his father insisted him to brought up in the family of the governor of Astrakhan. Knowledge of administrative procedures he gained at the same place. He had a great knowledge of Russian, Persian, Arabic and partly German. At a young age he already realized the benefits of education.  At the time when there was no single house, even Khan's bid have not existed, he expressed his intention to open a school in Horde.  

Contemporaries indicate that, Zhangir strictly hold the traditions and customs of his nation.  Among nomads he is a nomad, in the scientific environment he is a scientist. His thoughts were listened by people with great interest and attention. From the slavery society, among plaintive songs and during endless migration he stepped into a society of potential scientists, who compose the world of philosophers and statesmen of Russia and Europe.

Zhangir had conversations with outstanding figures of science and culture of Eurasia. As the intelligent khan he was highly respected byencyclopedist Alexander Humboldt, botanist Carl Claus, chemist A.Bergman, proffesor of the University of Tartu F. Goebel, by the friend of A.S.Pushkin's  S.A.Raevskiy, ethnographer and fellow campaigner G.Karelin.  

The linguist and composer of  the 'Dictionary' V.I.Dal, professor of Kazan University Carl Fuchs, statesman N.Musin- Pushkin, scientist and traveler E.Kovalevsky, famous orientalists V.Grigoriev and P.Nebolsin, anthropologist A.Kharuzin, geographers Y.V. Hanykov and N.V. Hanykov maintained relations with him.

Being first from the Kazakh khans Zhangir understood that without certain interest to knowledge, to enlightenment and culture, it is impossible effectively protect people's interest. Khan issued a directive, which obligates the governors of tribes and large tribal part collect funds for the construction of mosques with primary schools (Mekteb). It was supported by Kazakh population. 

By the middle of 30s of the 19th century Zhangir considering the possibility of organizing a central school in the khan's headquarters. According to his plan it had to prepare children to enter the special  Russian institutions. Opening of this school was held in khans' headquarter of Horde in 1841.  All maintaining expenses of school were on khan. He maintained school from his own incomes and examined students by himself until his death, which is in 1845. He actually was the first teacher of the school and his assistant in school affair was Tatar Sadriddin Aminov. 

The school was the one at that time throughout Kazakhstan, so Zhangir was the first Kazakh enlightener. Khan's school gave to Kazakh people encouragement for literacy, education and communication with the culture.

In addition to knowledge, the graduates of Orenburg school obtained officers' ranks. The school played important part in general cultural movement in Kazakhstan.  Zhangir wrote: "I declare that our children, while they learning, will study all sciences in order to serve society for a good purpose. All this makes me happy, as an access to education is a great happiness for my people".

Zhangir khan was a supporter of a settled life, so he introduced private ownership of land. His trade policy aimed towards the organization of affairs in order to raise the level of commodity turnover and attract more merchants. In 1932 he organised trade fair, created medical offices, pharmacy (1838), archives and map of Khanate. Zhangir created museum of collection of household items from the history of Kazakh culture. "Armory" took respectable place in cultural side Bukeey horde's life. It pioneered the museum business in Kazakhstan. 

In the 20th century Kazan University was an outpost of Russian science. So Khan eyes were turned to Kazan, especially to the university town and the center of the district school, which geographically belongs to Bukeey Horde.

In 1826, the Khan of Bukeeyev Horde Zhangir arrived in Kazan on the way back from Moscow, where he was invited to the coronation of Tsar Nicholas I. Zhangir began his staying in Kazan from University. Professor Karl Fuchs said that Zhangir during his inspection of Kazan University, asked questions in a modest and careful way. His attention was drawn especially on the collection of Arab and Tatar coins, what is more he saw many Arab and Tatar manuscripts with a great pleasure, beautifully hand-written and printed books alkorany.Afterwards the purpose of globe was explained to Khan.Zhangir reviewed stuffed birds and searched merlin, which Kazakhs like to use in hunt, at zoological room. In a conversation with Karl Fuchs Zhangir expressed the wish that both of his sons, when they grow up will be  educated at Kazan University. "The time will come when our Kazakhs will be studying in their own school!- he said"

Karl Fuchs, who accompanied Khan, wrote "Staying of Kyrgyz khan Zhangir in Kazan", then published and sent Bukeeyev Horde. 

Zhangir Khan had close personal contact and correspondence with the first rector of Kazan University Karl Fuchs and Lobachevsky N.I., he was in correspondence with them and was a patron of the university. He has done much to Kazakh youth to be trained there. He studied the folk art and collection of genealogical books of Kazakhs, also he wrote a series of epic works.

Khan did not break contact with the university. In 1839 and 1844 years, he again visited Kazan and donated to the Library of the University 6 ancient manuscripts in Arabic, Persian and Turkic languages​​, replenishing the library's fund of the Eastern Department. Zhangir, not long before his death, sent three rare manuscripts in Persian to the library of university as the gift. In 1844 during the last visit, he was on many dinners, balls and literary evening of Karl Fuchs.

Being in Kazan, Khan Zhangir asked the famous Kazym Bekh, the professor of Kazan University to help in editing of one book, which was important to Muslims. He prepared and edited ancient Arabic composition "Mychtenseryl-vikgaet" ("Abridged legislation"), which was considered as a classical composition in all Muslim school-methods. Kazym Bekh considering Zhangir as a supporter of education implemented the wish of the Khan. For this reason on November 18,1844, Khan Zhangir sent a letter to scientist pointing the perfect implementation of his requests in every respect. The book was edited for the first time on the territory of Eurasia continent with the financial support of Zhangir Khan. His  meeting with Kazembek A. transferred to friendship. They became penpals. They were the same age, which influenced on the way their relationships.

In 1844 scientist of Kazan University highly appreciated various knowledge thoughts and judgments of Zhangir Khan. Having considered that Zhangir paid great attention to education, actively participated in researches of eastern history, having appreciated his knowledge and useful supports to science, scientist supported the decision to elect him as a honorable member of Kazan University. Zhangir was proud of that. Khan received this honor for his contribution to the material basis of the university. Zhangirgave six rare manuscripts of 8th and 9th centuries to the library of university. He was the fan, searcher and expert of rarities.

Among the materials transferred Khan were, in particular, options Kazakh epic poems passed by word of mouth among the people throughout the centuries.

He kept the received patent-diploma in his living room in a special frame. The reporter of St. Petersburg newspaper "Severnaya pchela" (1844) formulated his opinion about Zhangir Khan in following words: "It is impossible not to be surprised, when meeting almost unexpectedly in mysterious steppe, the man with such education as Zhangir has. His thoughts and manners in general reveal that he learnt considerable amount of things from European civilization.

In Kazan university up until now working  auditorium and classroom of law faculty, where Tolstoy L.  Ulyanov (Lenin) V. and Rykov A. listened the lectures.

In a conspicuous place of the museum located portraits of two graduates, who further were chancellor of Kazan University, mathematician creator of  non-Euclidean geometry Lobachevsky N.I. and Butlerova A.M., the chemist and  founder of the theory of chemical structure of organic substances.

Kazan University pupils are Aksakov S., Khlebnikov V.,Wisniewski A.V. and Watermelons A.E.

University enrollee were Gorky M.A. Chaliapin F. visited here quite early and often. There are complex exhibits of Behtereva V.M., the outstanding physiologist and psychiatrist. The rarest relics of the past such as notebook of Nobel laureate Landau L., autographs of Nobel laureates Ginzbburg V. and Tamm I. and many other unique items being saved at the museum of history of Kazan university.

Science and education were flourishing during the period of formation of  Russian-Kazakh cultural relationship. Increasing numbers of schools in 19th century contributed to spread of education not only in Russia but also involved in the process other national suburbs.

The demand to educated people emerged inside of Kazakh society. This demand emerged as well as due to strengthening external relationship Khanate with northern neighbors. Khan Zhangir acted actively and visited St. Petersburg, Moscow many times, participated in the coronation of emperor and visited Kazan, Orenburg and Astrakhan. 

In order to promote enlightened lifestyle Zhangir organized meetings of the nobility at the headquarter and called to send their children. Studying of Kazakh children and youth at educational institutions of Russia from the end of the 30s of the 19th century, received public recognition in Bukeeyev Khanate. The integral part of Zhangir Khan's policy became the campaign for the education of children in Russian schools. As an example, which had a strong impact on  Zhangir Khan sent all his children, including girls, to study at Russian institutions. Zhangir Khan's example who gave all his children, including girls, to Russian schools had a strong impact on the population of the Horde.

Zhangir obtained permission to open vacancies on the adoption of young Kazakhs at the institutions of St. Petersburg, Astrakhan, Orenburg and Kazan. One of the most educated Kazakhs in mid-nineteenth century and one of the first graduates of Zhangir's school in the Horde was Babazhanov Muhambet-Salyk. He was elected to the Russian geographical society and awarded with a big silver medal (second Kazakh, who was elected to the Russian geographical society after Ualihanov Sh., and first Kazakh officially awarded with silver medal for scientific works). He wrote: "Until 1801 Kazakh did not understand the word "letter". It seemed to them like some fabulous action, such as soaring through the air. Since the time of transition to the right side of the Urals, we start to understand that the letter is not a myth, but in some cases it is more powerful than verbal expression of desire".

Khan's educational program and purpose of opening the school reflected in his letter to the governor kind Nuralieva Ch. In 1841 Zhangir wrote: "I'm sure you'll use proper diligence and enlighten your family, friends and everyone, that if science now bring a great favor, then our grandchildren would not be able to live well without them. Henceforth who does not know Russian will not be able to work in appropriate position. It is very useful and beneficial to us to have doctors among Kazakhs. Every effort, every distribution of funds will bring a hundred times more results if they will be used for the training of youth. Better to use the money for development of the sciences, noble ideas and honest purpose to people".

Khan's efforts were not in vain. From year to year the number of those wishing to study at a school in the Khan's Horde and in other schools-mektebs of Bukeeyev Khanate increased. Progresses in educational and cultural activities in Bukeyev Khanate during the reign Zhangir influenced to other regions of Kazakhstan.

Influence of Russian culture on Bukeey Khanate went more successfully through getting Russian education by Kazakh children. His effort to promote education were not in vain. He made arrangement of Kazakh youth to study at Kazan university. Since 1877 Kazakh youth began to study at Kazan university. From that time until 1917, 33 people took course, where 20 of them successfully completed their studies.  

Farsighted representatives of Kazakh society opened primary schools-mektebs at the country, where religious teachers from Kazan and Ufa were invited to train. Islamisation of Kazakh society was supported by Kazan's mullah. In Horde were invited mullahs from Kazan and Kazakh youth were sent to religious  schools-madrassas of Kazan. Zhangir during the 20 years of his reign in Bukeeyev Horde reached his aim - "...natural Kazakhs, replaced the mullahs in caravans and main mosque". 

During independencyyears Kazakh historians reluctantly remember Zhangir Khan. Apparently, this is due to past soviet ideology which more than 70 years exploit the theme of class antoganism and put a glorious son of the Kazakh nation as some bloodthirsty exploiter and arrogant, smug, bounded by a feudal outlook. 

Everyone already aware of that the political situation in Kazakh steppe were extremely complicated when Zhangir started his reign.  Due to shortages which were made during the division of land  he was forced to take a number of unpopular methods.

Policies conducted by Zhangir, ultimately resulted in popular agitation 1836-1837 years under the leadership of legendary Isatai Taimanov and Makhambet Utemisov. The rebellion was directed against feudal Kazakh and Russian policies. Zhangir suppressed it with the help of Russian troops. It was not a mistake, but the hardest personal drama and unhealed emotional wound for the young ruler as he experienced the tragedy of his people not less subordinates until the end of his life, as befits a noble by birth, education and human thoughts. This is similarly with situation of Shokan Ualikhanov.

It is pleasant that the Ministry of Education and science, the Ministry of culture of Tatarstan , Kazan university leadership and 1,5 hundreds of Kazakh diaspora of "Kazakhstan" society in the city of Kazan in the face of Batyr Kenjetayev and publicist from Uralsk Zhaisan Akbai pay tribute to Zhangir Khan. Thanks to their common efforts on March 12, 2013 in Kazan federal university inaugurated a memorial plaque to the outstanding Kazakh enlightener of the 19th century , one of the patrons of the University of Kazan - Zhangir Khan. The delegation from Kazakhstan headed by the Governor of West Kazakhstan region N. Nogaev, ambassador of extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan to the Russian Federation G.Orazbakov, the president of Kazan federal university M.Salahov and director of the Institute of oriental studies and international relations L. Latypov were attended the ceremony.

Ahmet Dyusenbayev

Fellow Guardian of museum of the History of Kazakhstan science

RSE "Gylym Ordasy" KN MES


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